Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number you’re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the horizontal axis?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.
Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Watch this video to see how to roll the dice. Now it's your turn! What do you notice about the dice numbers you have recorded?
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Watch this animation. What do you see? Can you explain why this happens?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers? Many opportunities to work in different ways.
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Ben’s class were cutting up number tracks. First they cut them into twos and added up the numbers on each piece. What patterns could they see?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?